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Using Our Influence

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Using Our Influence (UOI) is a collaborative of women leaders in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia who are passionate about shifting our dominant culture of violence and abuse, especially in the lived experience of rural women and girls. Our membership is fluid as people change jobs, change focus and relocate with our current core group including women working in mental health and addictions, post-secondary education, women’s transition houses, women’s resource centres, and youth health.


Current membership includes representatives from: Chrysalis House Association, South West Nova Transition House Association (Juniper House), The Women’s Place Resource Centre, Nova Scotia Community College, and Mental Health and Addictions, Nova Scotia Health Authority. If you have questions, would like more information about our work or to engage us for facilitation, please contact us at

Beauty professionals in Nova Scotia attended this free workshop where we discussed how to respond with compassion and trauma sensitive approaches.  Dale Gruchy was the facilitator. She is an adult educator who comes with almost 30 years working in the mental health and substance use fields. Dale is currently an instructor with NSCC, focusing on Addictions and Mental Health. She has facilitated dozens of workshops in the community focusing on how to have conversations about difficult topics. This workshop was a great success and is now an ongoing project.

The Safer Spaces project is possible thanks to funding from the Canadian Women's Foundation. 


Creating a Safer Community Brochure (PDF)

Local resources and tips to create a safer community.

Trailer for Compassionate Conversations - Beauty Sector

Full Video for Compassionate Conversations - Beauty Sector

Trailer for Compassionate Conversations 

Full Video for Compassionate Conversations 

As Nova Scotians, we struggle with the trauma of the mass shooting of April 18 and 19, 2020. This terrible event was followed by a series of tragic incidents that added to our collective pain – all of this while in a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are women who work toward the goal of ending violence against women and girls. We see the world through our experiences, both personal and professional. We understand that every person has their own experiences that shape their view of the world. We wish we knew why the mass shooting happened in order to ensure this never happens again to anyone, anywhere. We work toward finding opportunity as a way to find hope. 

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Without hope there is no way to move forward. The pandemic has made us all feel vulnerable. We have protected ourselves by staying apart. To heal from trauma we must be connected. We hope you will find our observations helpful in your journey toward deeper understanding of why. Thank you for joining us to explore when each of us have been part of creating a space of safety and connection where experiences of violence against women and girls can be prevented, heard or healed.

Links & Activity

Click below to learn more about our history and some of our recent activity

Using Our Influence:

Collaborative History

The National Destiny Women / National Shelter Worker Conference 2018

3rd World Conference of Women's Shelters

Our Supporters

Past & Present

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